Every day, President Obama reads ten letters from real Americans, hand selected by members of his staff. Some days, apparently when he is moved, the president even responds with a hand written note. And on even rarer occasions, ABC News reports, President Obama sends the constituent a personal check:
The White House is now cooperating with a book about those letters, written by the Washington Post’s Eli Saslow, who says that sometimes the president has written a check to help his correspondents. “A few times during his presidency, Obama admitted, he had written a personal check or made a phone call on the writer’s behalf, believing that it was his only way to ensure a fast result,” Saslow wrote in the Post.
“It’s not something I should advertise, but it has happened,” the president told Saslow. “Some of these letters you read and you say, ‘Gosh, I really want to help this person, and I may not have the tools to help them right now. And then you start thinking about the fact that for every one person that wrote describing their story, there might be another hundred thousand going through the same thing. So there are times when I’m reading the letters and I feel pained that I can’t do more, faster, to make a difference in their lives.”